Ex-bank clerk may face return to jail

Patricia Box

Patricia Box

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

A FORMER parish council vice chairman and bank cashier has been told to pay back £9,000 she swindled from a pensioner or face a return to prison.

Former Merton Parish Council member Patricia Box took the money from Donald Marriott’s account while working as a cashier at Barclays Bank, Bicester.

Box, 53, was sentenced to a year in prison in September last year and a proceeds of crime hearing was held on Thursday, when Box was ordered by Oxford Crown Court to pay the cash back with a further £270.

Box was sacked by Barclays – who reimbursed Mr Marriott before his death in April 2011 – and she resigned her council post.

Judge Gordon Risius made a confiscation order to pay back the cash, plus indexation of £270 to reflect the value of the money now, by July 23.

Failure to do so will result in four months in prison, he said.

James Reilly, defending, told the court his client could pay £52.80 a month from her monthly pension, her only income.

But he said she would not be able to get the rest of the money within the six months specified by the court.

Judge Risius said Box, of Merton, would have to get an application to extend the six months if she could not pay by that time.

Box admitted one count of fraud at the court on September 14 last year.

Prosecutor Cathy Olliver told that hearing that Box’s colleagues preferred not to deal with Mr Marriott “because of disability relating to his age”.

But Box “seemed to welcome him and always wished to deal with his bank affairs” and there was a “sinister motive”.

Miss Olliver said four transactions were made from Mr Marriott’s account to Box’s parents’ account, to which she had access, before being passed on to the defendant's own account. Her parents told police they had no knowledge of the money.

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Box used a colleague’s log-in identity to make eight transfers, she said.

The money was taken between October and November, 2011.

Mr Reilly told last year’s hearing that his client had paid back £2,600 and was experiencing a “midlife crisis” at the time of the offence.

He said: “She was going through the menopause and a difficult time with an ex-partner being abusive to her.

“She was getting death threats, she was in a bad position financially.”

Recorder Sandeep Kainth called it a “very grave offence” and a “gross breach of trust”

committed on an “elderly and vulnerable man”.

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